I have read a short article by Ms. Saba Yousaf thoroughly and would like to add a few lines to keep the record straight for public consumption. 

The mineral deposits undoubtedly were indicated by GSP through aerial surveys in 1992 but remained unexplored till 1997. The minerals are the domain of the provincial government but exploration and exploitation of public sector retained areas are done through a public sector corporation PUNJMIN. This area came in the kitty of this corporation for detailed investigation, exploration, and exploitation with or without value addition (obviously with leveraged foreign partners). The foreign company lead by Mr. Arshad Waheed came in wedlock with PUNJMIN in the regimes of Mr. Pervaiz Ellahi and subsequently the interim government. Without getting into the intricacies of selection of foreign companies, the interested investor provided a detailed phased investment plan for the establishment of reserves, exploitation of reserves and finally establishment of a steel plant.  

The joint venture agreement was initially given a go-ahead to MIs Arshad Waheed Company. Concurrent detailed scrutiny by the expert team kept a watch for fulfillment of pre conditions as envisaged in the JV. It was the good intention of the well placed officers attached with this project as team or member of recommendation committees who desired the interested investor for completion of pre-requisites before permitting him to work on site, failing which the JV might be canceled. It was Mr. Arshad Waheed who opted to move to the court of law for waiver of pre conditions and wanted to be set free.  

This was the beginning of tightening of rope around Mr. Arshad Waheed in the legal battlefield. The case was heard by the learned Lahore High Court and referred the matter to NAB for investigation and report. It was on the report of NAB to the High Court that the JV agreement is not sustainable in the eyes of law and as such the l- Court revoked the JV Agreement. 

As the investor got only an initial title through JV initially which was revoked through the process of law, he doesn’t hold any claim of ownership of Chiniot Iron Ore Lease. The deterrent measures adopted by the officer for not possessing him over the area also provided a relief to the government for non-extractive measures of Iron Ore. The interest of public and government had been totally safeguarded and no damage was done. The claim of the present political regime for un-Earthing a huge fraud is a broad day lie. 


Lahore, February 5.